tv This Is America With Dennis Wholey PBS May 15, 2011 10:00am-10:30am EDT
>> ambassador, what has been going gone inside china for the last 30 years? >> fundamental changes. absolutely. the country is virtually unrecognizable today compared to 30 years ago. i was there 30 years ago. >> you were born there. >> i was born there, throughout world war ii, the communist revolution, lived the first year of the communist and went back three times during the cultural revolution, was part of the negotiating team would we negotiated diplomatic relations and went back as ambassador. i have seen china and lots of different forms. >> it seems what we were fought
-- while we were focused in the last 10 years on afghanistan and iraq, china would from zero to 60 in the last 10 years, especially economically. >> 10 years ago china realized it was rising rapidly and would undoubtedly cause concern among neighbors. it adopted policy of alleviating concerns. soft diplomacy, very effective. formed a strategic partnership with the association of southeast asian nations. a code of conduct for the south china sea. it has been doing some of that -- because the results of the finance a crisis has given china a boost in the world and it has been feelin gits oats and it has become more assertive. a word that does not translate that well into chinese. a willingness to push your own interest more vigorously.
but would you call that a superpower now? >> i would say they are a superpower in the making. i don't like the term superpower. i think the great power concept is more accurate. we have never been a super power in this sense that we were strong enough to be able to really dominate the rest of the world. we always needed help. we have unquestionably been the strongest single power, but we have had very important power centers elsewhere in the world. those power centers are becoming more significant. about ice-t -- >> i see a shift from the atlantic ocean to the pacific ocean, including our new investment or reinvested in east asia. and i right? >> you are right. the chinese keep asking us to -- you keep changing policies in east asia. i say we are not changing our policy. it's always been to be engaged.
back to the founding of the republic. but we were paying primary attention to the police during the period asia was changing rapidly, creating regional institutions, and we were not paying adequate attention we are paying more attention. >> when we think of that part of the world we think of china, south korea, japan. who else should we keep that i on? >> in the east of -- indonesia. but tell me. >> the fourth largest country in the world. 85 percent side of the population are muslims. the largest islamic population as any country but more christians than the population of australia. this is a diverse country. our national slogan is e pluribus unum and in indonesia, it is a unity and diversity. they have been able to make a go
of a country. the above this thought came to me as i was preparing for a cut -- >> this thought came to me when i was preparing for the conversation. years ago, but my mother used to say, if a business could sell one pair of nylon stockings to everyone in china, they would have a very successful business. was she right way back in bed? >> she was right in terms of the math. perhaps a little optimistic terms of the possibilities. >> it seems the whole relationship now that we read about between china and the united states is focused on economics, focused on trade and invest it. >> absolutely. >but here is an interesting way to think about what is going to lead in china. if you take a chinese peasants and wounded -- moved him into an
urban job of the productivity goes up 20 times. >> why has it changed? they're the ones you did of agricultural production is worth of virtually nothing -- bell but because one units of agricultural production is worth virtually nothing. goods that are in demand and have a big export market, you could do better as an export worker in terms of productivity as you can as a rice farmer. that means what of the explanations for trade of's rapid growth is they have been moving people from rural areas into higher productivity are big jobs. >> organization -- urbanization and created a huge work force. >> they have a problem, because they had a single child policy for 20 years. >> the problem will be? >> reduction in the working force.
as the single children become -- enter into the work force, and you only have one child entering where it used to be two or three children. that is going to create real demographic challenges. the above will its low production? but not any time in the dear future certainly. if they are able to increase productivity so a smaller the burr of workers can continue to produce more than the earlier group, but then you can give the look. >> that is what happened in the united states for the what happened before. >> but what happens now is try to regain productivity so we can retain the spirit of the living dead still deal with the economic problems, including the big budget deficits at the low savings rate. but let me take a little break and tell the people at home i of talking with embassador james stable did roy, 45 years in the u.s. foreign service and earned
the designation as career diplomat -- which is the highest you can go. a former assistant secretary of state, but former ambassador to singapore cover traded, and indonesia and also, very importantly, director of the kissinger institute would trade at of the you done it states, but above lots of other things -- , -- kissinger institute of child of the united states. >> "this is america" is made the national-- deni education association. the nation's largest advocate for children in public education. the american federation of teachers. a union of professionals.
corp. -- four -- a higher global standard. and the rotondaro family trust. the ctc foundation, afo the american live tv network. you mentioned, as we started the conversation, board in the nanking. what did your dad do to cause that to happen? the above by father was a missionary. -- >> my father was a visionary. he was an educational mission. . not an ordained it is the. he had a phd and he taught courses of college in chad is supported by short -- church contributions. but a particular did not addition? >> presbyterian but you tended to merge them in china and
become what is called the church of christ. >> what was the attitude toward religion at that time? talking about the 1850's? and i was bored they're in the 1930's and at -- >> i was born in the 1930's. >> what was the attitude in the 1930's at the 1940's? >> christians were a distinct minority. buddhism was probably the dominant religion. but christians were concentrated in the better-educated classes, of the ones who came into contact with the west. the christians had a disproportionate influence in both the education system in china debt and in terms of deadbeat -- and in terms of
many. but what caused you to have to leave and what period of time? >> i left as a resident the last time in 1950. we stayed on after the economy this resolute -- revolution because my father wanted to continue his university work but after the korean war began it became untenable. my parents said my brother and be back to the united states. >> how did you end up in princeton? >> my father did his phd there. i love the town. almost all of it as home. when i was getting out of high school the only place i wanted to go is princeton. >> you pursued mongolian studies. is it something that had to happen in? >> existing, we were planning to establish diplomatic relations with mongolia .
a separate withwedged between china and the soviet union. bill prospect of getting it to try that at that point in the 1860's. i figured as a china specialist it as close to possible required knowledge and experience. against the advice of everybody i was eager to be selected as a mongolian student. one chinese speaker at what the russian speaker. then we decided to fight the vietnam -- vietnam war. chiang kai shek considered mongolia as part of china. i was sent to the russian desk at the russian speaker was said to hong kong. that you had experience in russia. >> that got me into the soviet field. >> what should we know as a -- what should we m should
weongolia. >> it is a country that conquered much of the world back 600 years ago. since it did it, basically it is a large rural country with about 20 times as many sheep as people. historically they work nomadic hearders and also had rich mineral deposits. the existing thing is when they came out from the soviet yoke -- although the russians did pour investment into mongolia. the mongols were able to make a transition to a democratic form of government. >> what got you into the foreign service? >> you begin to worry if your junior year what you are going
to do. i started it -- . the switch to history when i realized the other the did. the students had more natural at a dance. i was interested in foreign countries. then we had a state department recruiter come admitted seven like a dramatic profession. >> was it? >> curiously enough. >> he was right. they're not going hold in such a senior position representing the united states. let's talk about china, back it up and pursue its a little bit. friend or foe or competitor? >> i would call it eight friends -- it can be either. that is where the challenge of our foreign policy. there is nothing inevitable that will put us into conflict with
china. it will represent a failure of the diplomatic process and a failure of leadership in one or both countries if we add up in conflict. >> what are their interests? separate us out of the equation and you are sitting in government it chided, what would you say are their interests? >> the past 100 years the goal has been to gain wealth and power. but they have pretty much of both. >> this is like the old body building adds. what thatrachina question and they had 100 years where they were taken in the of the job. china wants to be powerful so other countries can no longer take advantage. the problem is, we have those extra muscles you they take
advantage of other people. china, but if it is successful in achieving edition of being more prosperous and striver, it is going to create concerns and fears on the part of its neighbors. will trade of the dade -- be able to manage it effectively -- china be able to manage it effectively or create fear among neighbors of a huge night against it. >> you just came back from japan. the relationship between japan and china is not very good. >> relations with south korea has been worst since 1972. china is having problems with its neighbors. all of these countries -- japan has more trade with china that the united states. taiwan has more exports to china. korea also has more.
these countries have major interests in maintaining a decent relationship with china so they can benefit from economic growth. that is why you cannot reduce this to a symbol -- china is getting stronger and conflict is inevitable. none of the countries around it would to be in conflict. they want to have china developed as a country but does not impose a threat. >> are week in errorwe in in error trying to make them like the united states. >> we did so by opening our doors to chinese students, giving them the opportunity to come to our country, but learned english, get superb higher education, and in some cases stay on at work in the business community, gain skills of
modern corporate society and then go back to traded. they go back different people. they understand what makes us tick. they either don't think our political or even economic system can be transferred their peace deal. they see the free press. they see what the independent judiciary can do in protecting rights. they carry those ideas and try to apply it. the whole process of domestic feed in in the china about what it can be done has been influenced over 30 years of extensive interaction. if we want to change the bed is -- the way we do it is maintain a relationship that allows the ready access to our society. >> ready access in trade and economics? >> no across the board. in security what we what to do
is it able china to be strong the enough to defend a much more prosperous country without a threat to its neighbors. >> it seems be in areas of stress and tension, the trust has been a concern. trade imbalance has been problems. human rights has been brought to the fore by the secretary of state of the present. and taiwan -- and i right? >> all those have been key factors in our relationship with china. taiwan has to do with arm sales. >> but because mainland china --
>> that is one part of the issue. the other issues is crossrtrade relations. but at the same time, the mainland has missiles aimed at taiwan. >> with crosstree deletions as good, but perhaps we can strike a rural military posture. before 1995, which i did not deploy military it weighs threat taiwan defeat in the day tds -- in the 1990's, independent forces. but will it in the eds be like hong kong? >> taiwan's circumstances are totally different. it has 90 miles of water as
opposed to a fivetoafery ride. frankly, the terms china has offered taiwan are different from hong kong. taiwan gets to retain armed forces, but in hong kong, but the vaguely of -- the mainland is responsible for defense. but what areas of agreement -- terrorism. nuclear proliferation. the financial crisis -- we needed china. >> china holds $2 trillion of foreign exchanges. >> they did bail us out. you have to give credit to the
george w. bush administration for setting up this strategic economic dialogue. we always had a joint economic condition chaired by treasury but it only met once a year. this strategic leak of a dialogue began beating every six loans at all of the top five bids shall add commercial people at the minister level would meet -- you can associate indeed any face and it proved invaluable in the five big chill crisis. you can pick up the telephone and talk to the treaties and try to coordinate . it was scary from their side. and also their export sector took a real plunge in the fall
of 2008. >> the trade thing -- it has been going up and up with the two working together. a tremendous market for products and a trade in balance -- imbalance and company's completing about taxes, tarriffs and things of that nature -- >> fact of international -- intellectual property. >> things are getting it the way. >> we have a long laundry list of problems in terms of access to china's market. >> we want each other.
>> we want and need each other and their economic development has been beneficial. we complained about the exchange rate and it is it exchange ratechina still is -- improper that they still have a non- convertible currency. the value needs to be determined by market forces. despite that factor, but our exports to china has been going up much more rapidly that it the other major market. during the friday of a crisis when our exports to the rest of the world dropped by 20% cut exports to china held steady. would you think about the exchange rate, why can't we export faster to china of that other countries. but we are importing even faster and that is what creates the imbalance. >> what of the articles i read,
a corporation said if you want to sell to china you have to be in china. people seem to feel threatened by jobs going overseas, but it along read, it benefits us -- in the long run. >> we have the opportunity to get the jobs back. trade is generating excess capital and it has over $2 is docked -- $2 trillion on foreign exchange. with the dollar potentially decreasing. it invested. we had over $2 billion of chinese investment last year and it ought to be 10 times that. >> we are at the end of our time but we want to ask and opened it did question of where you see u.s.-trained -- china itself in
the next few years. >> with good leadership in both countries -- i think the leaders we have and who we will get will be good enough -- we will be able to manage the areas of difficulty and build all the areas of common interest. they are big, big, but interest. -- common interest. it wants stability. it has some the fractious neighbors like north korea and it does not always hear about the problems as well it should but i of optimistic about the future of our relationship. >> so good to sit and talk with you. for online video of all "this is america" programs, visit our website. "this is america" is made
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